News Media

Prop 2 Advocates Threaten Broadcasters

The battle over Proposition 2–the eminent domain initiative–took a strange turn Thursday when legal counsel for the supporters threatened television stations with “legal and FCC action” if ads sponsored by opponents to the measure are not jerked from the airwaves by 5 p.m.

The GUARDIAN talked to KTVB Channel 7 general manager Doug Armstrong who said they will leave the anti-Prop 2 ads on the air because “it is unclear to us which side is right.”
Armstrong said he acted under advise of his own legal counsel.

At KBCI Channel 2, general manager Bob Thomas also said he will keep the anti-prop 2 ads on the air–despite the claim by opponents that information in the anti ad is false and misleading. He said his advise came from legal counsel at the Idaho State Broadcasters Association and he assumed most stations would leave the ads in place.

Thomas went on to say the station had done their due diligence and did not find the anti prop 2 ads to be blatantly false or misleading.

Everyone agrees “It is politics and everyone has an opinion.”

Specifically the group This House Is My Home objects to a scripted line:

“It could turn any Idaho property including farm land into junk yards, power plants or high rises.”

The group’s spokesperson, Becky McKnight said, “Demonstrably false advertising regarding an issue cannot be legally aired and the government bureaucrats and special interests who oppose Prop 2 cannot possibly prove what they claim, because it’s false.”

Ironically the Centennial Church in Caldwell is unhappy with the My House is My Home group for radio ads which claim the church is trying to keep from being bulldozed…turns out the Centennial Baptist Church that is supposed to be fighting eminent domain is in OKLAHOMA.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Congratulations are in order to Channels 2 and 7 for their refusal to be intimidated by a local political Bullying group.

    Proposition 2 is nothing but a cover for developers to undermine the ability of Citys and Countys to zone and re-district land so that homeowners are protected from greedy construction builders who would build a macro-dairy farm next to a brand new housing development. The stink would illustrate clearly what Prop. 2 is really all about.

    Lets Vote NO on this proposition engineered to cater to the financial elite of land developers (AKA-city destroyers) who would turn our beautiful City into an urban nightmare.

  2. Richie Powers
    Oct 20, 2006, 9:22 am

    If you believe in property rights, vote yes on Proposition 2. People do not deserve to have their land taken for unjust reasons and then not given just compensation. Protect Idaho from eminent domain abuse & vote yes on Prop. 2. Check this out:

  3. “It could turn any Idaho property including farm land into junk yards, power plants or high rises.”

    That line IS demonstrably false.

    I’m still on the fence on Prop 2. I have trusted SMART friends who are passionately on both sides of the issue. I won’t be swayed by blatant lies, by either side.

  4. Scare tactics. Politics of fear. All methods to provoke a knee jerk reaction in a complacent electorate. These ads reflect the political reality that the average voter spends precious little time becoming educated on a subject of significant import.

    The ad proponents hope that whatever motivated that voter into the polling booth, their particular 30 second spot will pursuade that uninformed voter to vote based upon a very human but irrational and instinctive response to whatever proposal is being proffered. These ads are examples of why the initiative process does not necessarily lead to better government and why I’m skeptical of all initiatives. Kudos to Bikeboy for taking the time. I wish the entire electorate was that disciplined to become informed.

  5. Andy (not that one)
    Oct 20, 2006, 12:40 pm

    “It could turn any Idaho property including farm land into junk yards, power plants or high rises.”

    My understanding is that’s true, providing that neighbors file a suit to stop the development and lose.

    That said, any bill containing intentionally confusing language such as this one deserves to die an ugly death.

  6. Proponents say it will protect your property. Opponents ask would you want a pig farm or junk yard next door?

    So, I’ve been trying to think — would I rather have a pig farm or junkyard under that proposal, or a hundred huge homes crammed together with all the attendant vehicles, people, etc., as under our current method?

    Damn, that’s a hard one. Guess I’ll flip a coin on the way to the polls.

  7. It blows my mind that Laird Maxwell, who admitted to political dirty tricks during the 2003 Mayoral campaign, is complaining about anti-Prop. 2 ads. At least Prop. 2 opponents identified themselves in the ads, which is something Maxwell has a hard time doing. Whenever there is an issue Maxwell supports, you will find chambers of commerce, neighborhood residents, local governments and other community-minded person against it. He’s out of the mainstream and just a Republican In Name Only.

    Ada County has grown by 50 percent in the past 10 years. It would be difficult to argue the government preventing people from using their land.

    Prop. 2 is a solution in search of a problem, financed by wealthy out-of-state extremists using Maxwell as their local tool, and I encourage everyone to vote against it.

  8. “Prop. 2 is a solution in search of a problem…”

    That may be the most accurate assessment. I’m all in favor of protecting property owners from eminent-domain -type actions for the sake of increasing tax revenue, as happened back in New England (the famous Supreme Court case)… but didn’t the Legislature already strengthen the property owner’s hand? (And Gub’nor Dirk ultimately signed the bill, over objections by various bureaucracies and such.)

    Maybe we need to watchdog for a couple years, and see if there are cases where more property rights protection is needed. (It’s not like 2006 will be the only chance to decide. And besides, the Legislature has a well-documented history of overriding voter initiatives, so what’s the point? Big Brother will take care of ALL of us!)

  9. False and misleading claims in a political ad?

    Surely, this must be a first!

    I’m just kinda puzzled at how this is illegal. I know that media were protected by state law against slander and libel when they quote someone. Aren’t political ads also covered by this law?

    And just what exactly are these allegedly false and misleading claims?

  10. If you look at the only other state that has passed a similar proposition look no further than Oregon. They passed one eerily similar to this one and now have billions of dollars in lawsuits because of it. Prop 2 uses words like eminent domain to scare people into voting for it. We all are against eminent domain in one way or another, but what Prop 2 does is take away what planning and zoning has set in place for where certain types of property should and shouldn’t go. Prop 2 only takes all of that away. The ads use extremes like pig farm or high rise to get a rise out of people, but this proposition leaves the door wide open to any type of business not fit to be next to your home. The only way to in turn stop it would be to file a lawsuit, which is right where Oregon is now.

    We also need to look at who is driving this proposition and what their true intentions are. Hopefully we are not the next state to go down that path. Anyone with half a brain will vote no on Prop 2.

  11. I looked at the Voters Guide from the Secretary of State’s office and the argument for Prop. 2 and what is interesting is the proponents make no case for the initiative based on Idaho-specific facts and examples where takings have occurred in this state and how widespread a problem it is. There is passing reference to a developer in Blaine County who had some property “downzoned,” whatever that means, but no facts about what was proposed by the developer that was denied by the County Commission and why the denial was a taking.

    I hardly think state law should be changed based on one anecdote from People’s Republic of Blaine County. If there are “takings” going on out there the evidence would appear to show the economy is not being hurt, nor the economic growth in this valley. I think this is a case of an ideology driven agenda v. a problem solving initiative. And there’s no Idaho-specific factual case being made to support it so I vote no.

  12. I’m not against eminent domain. I’m just against the abuse of it such as the Supreme Court upheld last spring, where people were kicked out of their homes so that some Babylonian could build a whore house. The “public good” as required by the constitution was that the city could dig more tax revenue from the development.

    Recall that within days of that descision, the Idaho legislature passed a law restricting such abuse.

    I’m just wondering if that law passes, I can get some money from the government for not being allowed to grow opium poppies on my land.

    Yes, I know about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would allow me to do so if it was part of my religion.

    Was it Lenin or Marx that said that religion was the opium of the masses? Do the Catholics serve opium at mass?

  13. It seems to me like we are miising the point. If we had a decent Planning and Zoning process that made just a little bit of sense with regard to what was best for the community, we wouldn’t even consider this type of proposition. These types of actions appear to be born out of a frustration with the lack of logic and common sense from our planning departments. There is no question, in my mind, that this is a bad proposition that is being sold by special interests. However, it’s defeat won’t solve the problem.

  14. It seems to me that what Prop 2 really aims to do is eliminate zoning and return to the “free for all” approach for building whatever and whereever you jolly well please, I hope it goes down in non-spreading flames.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: